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Better Places for People is World Green Building Council’s global programme, dedicated to supporting Green Building Councils, partners, and the building and construction industry transition towards a healthy, equitable, and resilient built environment.

Better Places for People is guided by the vision of WorldGBC’s North Star Goal, “a built environment that delivers healthy, equitable and resilient buildings, communities and cities”. Our work is underpinned by the six core principles of our Health & Wellbeing Framework, working to catalyse social and environmental benefits across the built environment value chain.

Our projects

Climate Change is directly affecting people’s health and wellbeing, damaging cities and homes, displacing communities, and severely impacting liveability. Average temperatures are rising, causing acute and chronic hazards such as heat waves, floods, droughts, and rising sea levels to grow in frequency and severity. At least 85% of the world’s population has already been affected by climate change, with an estimate of 150,000 lives lost every year, expected to double by 2030.

By the end of this century, the world’s population is set to grow by 50%, an increase of 45 million people per year, and bringing the total global population to over 11.2 billion. The housing industries are facing extreme stresses to meet the demand of a rising population amidst climate change. 

The world needs to build 2 billion new homes over the next 80 years, adding a city the size of Paris every week. Yet, over the last 20 years, housing affordability has become a growing crisis for a large portion of the world’s population, with 1.6 billion people living in inadequate housing, of which 1 billion reside in slums and informal settlements. This is set to increase to an estimated 3 billion people living in slum conditions by 2050. Housing is of fundamental importance to human development, in addition to its role in identity and social belonging. 

People are spending increasing quantities of time within buildings. Estimates suggest people spend about 90% of their time in buildings, with two thirds of that spent at home. Exposure to poor indoor air quality, toxic chemicals, biological contaminants and other pollutants pose a significant threat to occupant health and wellbeing, as well as to people throughout the supply chain. Air pollution is considered as one of the greatest environmental threats to human health, causing approximately 7 million deaths each year. 

The building and construction supply chain represents one of the world’s largest industry sectors, and the creation of social value is fundamental. This means creating direct, positive impacts on people and communities by protecting human rights, dignity, and health and wellbeing, as well as committing to social justice and equity within the workforce. This includes indigenous rights, gender equality, diversity and inclusion in order to provide long term value to communities and improve local quality of life.

Better Places for People collects and disseminates research and thought leadership, provides industry guidance, facilitates knowledge exchange and communication around critical issues on social sustainability. This is presented in a variety of ways, including: webinars, blogs, reports, and research snapshots; targetting real estate investors, developers, owners, managers, architects and the wider network of stakeholders of the building and construction industry. 

Our work:

Supports Green Building Councils and their members to transform health and wellbeing, social value and equity, and climate change resilience at all stages of the building lifecycle and at all scales within the built environment. 

Our vision:

To support the systemic transition towards a healthy and sustainable built environment, tackling socio-economic issues around building quality, community health, and equity and justice throughout the supply chain.

Our aspiration:

For universal human health to be synonymous with our climate actions goals for planetary health. Enhancing human health, wellbeing and quality of life for everyone, everywhere is an essential component of sustainable development. 


Better Places for People is working towards the North Star Goals of the WorldGBC network:

  • To achieve a built environment that delivers healthy, equitable and resilient buildings, cities and communities.
  • By 2030, we want to see substantial improvement in public health and wellbeing through the development of a sustainable built environment, across all types of new and existing buildings, with a focus on quality housing for everyone.
  • By 2050, we need a built environment that provides transformative, restorative improvements in public health and wellbeing.



Sustainable and Affordable Housing Report
Climate Change Resilience in the Built Environment
Doing Right by Planet and People: The Business Case for Health and Wellbeing in Green Building
Building the Business Case: Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Green Offices
Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices: The Next Chapter for Green Building
A Guide to Healthier Homes and a Healthier Planet
Research on Health, Wellbeing and Performance in Green Schools
Air Quality Monitoring in the Built Environment: What lessons have we learnt from the Green Building Council network?

Participating Green Building Councils

Programme partners and supporters

Global Programme Partners

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Global Activity Partners

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